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Publisher's Summary

A stunning behind-the-curtain look into the last years of the illegal transatlantic slave trade in the United States.

Long after the transatlantic slave trade was officially outlawed by every major slave-trading nation in the early 19th century, merchants based in the United States were still sending hundreds of illegal slave ships from American ports to the African coast. The key instigators were slave traders who moved to New York City after the shuttering of the massive illegal slave trade to Brazil in 1850. These traffickers were determined to make lower Manhattan a key hub in the illegal slave trade to Cuba. In conjunction with allies in Africa and Cuba, they ensnared around 200,000 African men, women, and children during the 1850s and 1860s. John Harris explores how the US government went from ignoring, and even abetting, this illegal trade to helping to shut it down completely in 1867.

©2020 John Harris (P)2020 Tantor

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  • Gillis Heller
  • 03-05-2021

Great story but only part of it

This was some really interesting history that the general public is probably not aware of. Who knew New York, and not Baltimore (in a slave state but that never seceded) and not New Orleans (definitely in a slave state) was the capital of the slave trade from 1850 on to the end of the Civil War. But I wish there had been more on the African side: Who were the slave traders there? How did they capture people who were then enslaved? Was it one ethnic group versus another? All still to be known.

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